Blog

The diary of Harold Collins: “I have seen dead men laying about by the 100”

In the lead-up to Anzac Day, we dive into the diary of Jewish Australian soldier in the First World War, Harold Collins to learn more about his war-time experiences.

Read more

The hidden ink sketches of Chaim Uryson

The hidden ink sketches of Chaim Uryson These sketches in our collection were done by Polish Jewish artist Chaim Uryson (1905-1943). They were donated to the Sydney Jewish Museum by …

Read more

The Maccabean Hall: Jack Meister’s second home

Many years before it held our Museum, our Darlinghurst building was home to the Maccabean Hall: a Jewish community centre, crucial to rehabilitating and integrating Holocaust survivor refugees in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Holocaust survivor, Jack Meister explores what the building means to him.

Read more

An Egyptian Rosh Hashana Seder

The festival of Rosh Hashana is both a joyous celebration and the start of a period of ten days during which observant Jewish people engage in profound introspection and prayer. Museum volunteer Racheline Barda recalls what the Jewish new year traditions were in her household in Egypt growing up.

Read more

A year in the life of our Youth Committee 

Want to know what it’s like being part of our Youth Committee, a vibrant community of young people who are eager to make a difference? In this blog, our members explore why they joined the Youth Committee, and some of their highlights from their past year.

Read more

Refugee Week: An interview with Holocaust survivor Peter Halas

Refugee Week: An interview with Holocaust survivor Peter Halas On Refugee Week we share an interview with Holocaust survivor and founder of Seafolly, Peter Halas. Peter shares what made him …

Read more

The people behind the technology

For an initiative based on artificial intelligence, humans have been at the core of every phase of our cutting-edge AI project right from the beginning: from the survivors who sat down to answer 1,000 questions, to the museum staff who work with this technology every day, and the visitors who have personal interactions with it.

Read more

A survivor, an artist and a mystic

This untitled and undated artwork in our collection, likely from the 1970s, is marked by its swirling Hebrew letters and primary colours. The artist was a Holocaust survivor named Joe Rose who came to Australia after escaping to England. Senior Curator Roslyn Sugarman shares its unique story.

Read more

Unpacking the past

Learn about our incredible new Migration Stories: Arrival Forever primary school program, aimed at students in Years 5 and 6, that shines a light on the experiences of the Holocaust survivors who made new lives in Sydney after the war.

Read more

4 lessons you can learn today from Holocaust survivors

If you are in need of inspiration today, here are words from four Holocaust survivors: Olga Horak OAM, Eddie Jaku OAM, Jack Meister OAM and John Grushka, on resilience, perspective, happiness and humour.

Read more

From the hospital to the Underground: the story of Gusta Snyde 

Gusta Snyde had dreams of becoming a surgeon, but anti-Jewish laws prevented her from studying medicine. Instead, she became a nurse for sick Jewish ghetto and concentration camp inmates. She would also join a women’s Underground resistance group, and after the war, care for 100 orphaned children.

Read more

Dressing for change: Jews, clothing and modernisation

During the nineteenth century, most of Europe’s Jewish population migrated from small villages to large cities. This would create a major cultural shift, with Jews taking on the “modern” culture of the era. Our Education Officer, Dr Jonathan Kaplan is a dress historian. In this article, he tracks the shift in the clothing Jewish families wore as they transitioned from village life to city life.

Read more

“Until we all belong”

To mark World Pride coming to Sydney, our Head Curator Roslyn Sugarman shares the story behind these “acceptance” rings in our collection – owned by the first couple in Australia to have a same-sex Jewish religious wedding: Oscar Shub and Ilan Buchman.

Read more

History beyond the university classroom

“These weren’t just museum objects to catalogue; they became living objects with tangible connections to the past. I suddenly felt the weight of what I was doing”. Go behind the scenes with our student volunteers, to uncover some of what they learnt during their time at the Museum.

Read more

Reminders of humanity: Jacqueline Dale’s birthday cards

Reminders of humanity: Jacqueline Dale’s birthday cards Bordered by blue tape and creased by decades of history, the birthday cards given to Jacqueline Dale (nee Feldman) on the occasion of …

Read more

What might the future of museum storytelling look like?

With visitors already able to have realistic conversations with the projections of Holocaust survivors, it really does seem like the future of museum storytelling is already here. What other innovations can we expect to embrace in the future? We asked some of our experts what the future of museum storytelling may hold.

Read more

Why hate speech is never “just a joke”

“With every quip that is brushed off, every joke that is let go, every slur that is ignored we do something very powerful – we give permission”. Our Manager of Student Learning and Research, Dr Breann Fallon, responds to the recent anti-Semitic comments by the rapper, Ye, in our latest article.

Read more

The unfinished baby books of Liesbeth Prins

Head Curator, Roslyn Sugarman tells the story of two unfinished diaries from the Museum’s collection. They are filled with photographs about Liesje – a little girl who was murdered in Auschwitz in 1943 – just two months shy of her sixth birthday. A poignant window into family life, these diaries reveal the depth of a mother’s love.

Read more

From Tehran to Sydney: A tapestry of Jewish life

Carpets are an ancient Jewish art form, created from thousands of knots, delicately tied by hand. Learn about the Jewish migrant family that almost single-handedly introduced the Australian public to these highly labour-intensive works of art.

Read more

A reflection on NSW’s recent ban on Nazi symbols

“Public displays of Nazi symbols are not only an affront to those who lost family in the Holocaust and those who survived it, but also send a clear message of discrimination, racism and hate.” Manager of Student Learning and Research, Dr Breann Fallon, reflects on NSW’s recent ban of Nazi symbols.

Read more

Survivor Portraits – Dasia Black Gutman

In this image from our collection, Dasia holds a photo of her parents close to her heart. She was four years old and living as an Aryan child when her mother and father were deported to Zbaraz ghetto and later murdered. 

Read more

NAIDOC Week: William Cooper’s legacy

NAIDOC Week: William Cooper’s Legacy The roots of NAIDOC Week can be traced back to the 1920s and 30s when First Nations rights groups took formation and staged boycotts and …

Read more

Shining a spotlight on our volunteers

Hundreds of volunteers from all walks of life and backgrounds have dedicated their time and hard work to support the Museum since our inception 30 years ago. Here’s a spotlight on some of the generous volunteers who work with us.

Read more

Survivor Portraits – Lucy Chladek

Lucy Chladek was born in 1937. Even after surviving the Holocaust, she and her family were still not safe.

Read more

The stories behind the pink triangle

On International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia we reflect on the untold testimonies from the persecuted LGBTIQ community during the Holocaust.

Read more

A three-month job that’s lasted nearly three decades

In 1994, a librarian named Tinny Lenthen took what she thought was a short-term job opportunity at the Museum’s newly opened library. 28 years later, Tinny still sits behind the library desk. She remains one of few constants in a space that has been totally transformed over three decades.

Read more

Uncovering an exhibition that was never seen

Last July, Wendy Sharpe took to the walls of the Museum to paint a large mural titled “Vu iz dos Gesele?” Sadly, due to Covid lockdowns, the mural would never be seen by Museum visitors, until now, with the release of a new documentary by Joshua and Karly Marks about the exhibition. Here’s what the filmmakers had to say.

Read more

“Never Again”: Raising Genocide Awareness

During Genocide Awareness Month, Dr Breann Fallon explores the hard truth that the crime of genocide prevails around the world – and that genocidal atrocities are occurring right now, in more than one place. We examine the definition of genocide as a crime, some of the cases of genocide that have been ignored and the key warning signs we should be looking out for.

Read more

What happened to Jewish Allied soldiers during the Holocaust?

Not much has been written about Jewish soldiers fighting in the Allied armies against Germany during World War II. One estimate puts the number at 1.5 million. Resident Historian, Emeritus Professor Dr Konrad Kwiet examines what happened to Jewish Allied soldiers during the Holocaust.

Read more

“This year in Jerusalem”: the story of a Seder plate

This Seder plate from our collection was given to Samuel Steif in a Displaced Persons Camp in Germany in 1948. It depicts the emancipation of the Jewish people from slavery – a meaning that would have taken on a deeper significance right after the Holocaust. It is engraved not with the traditional saying “Next year in Jerusalem”, but rather, “This year in Jerusalem”.

Read more

Telling the Holocaust through poems

For many Holocaust victims and survivors, poetry was used to convey experience in ways that traditional language simply could not. Holocaust poems have emerged as an important medium to express emotions of suffering, despair and even hope.

Read more

Gandel Survey finds a quarter of Australians don’t know about the Holocaust 

A recent Australia-wide survey by the Gandel Foundation found that a quarter of Australians don’t know about the Holocaust. Our Head of Education, Dr Rebecca Kummerfeld provides some important insights.

Read more

On Mice and Men: The banning of Art Spigelman’s “Maus”

The recent banning of Art Spigelman’s “Maus” books by a US school board prompts Sydney Jewish Museum Educator, Dr Breann Fallon, to ask: what is more dangerous, a book itself or the action of banning it? 

Read more

In love and Auschwitz

Bully and Gerda became engaged after meeting in the Berlin Jewish Youth movement in 1937, but the burgeoning romance was almost cut short when Bully was deported to Sachsenhausen concentration camp in 1939.

Read more

The Wannsee Protocol and The Villa at the Lake

On 20 January 1942, high-ranking officials of the Nazi State assembled at a villa on lake Wannsee in Berlin to sign the infamous Wannsee protocol, a plan for what was to be known as the “Final Solution”.

Read more

A lamp with no shade

In 2018, we received a donation of a mysterious hand-carved lampstand. We know little about the maker, aside from the fact that they were a Lithuanian displaced person in a DP camp in Germany.

Read more

The Amazing Mr Rooklyn

Maurice Rooklyn was one of Australia’s leading entertainers – a hypnotist, juggler, ventriloquist, illusionist and magician. Born in England in 1905 to Russian-Jewish parents, his family migrated to Australia in 1912.  

Read more

A story hidden in the seams

These Christmas-themed charms in our collection were made by a seamstress named Trude Baumann, within the walls of Oederan concentration camp between 1944 and 1945. Delicately detailed using small pieces of green and red felt, they showcase her talent for intricate stitchwork.

Read more

The shoemaker from the shtetl

Jacob Bloch was a shoemaker from a shtetl in Lithuania, who immigrated to Sydney during the Great Depression. Barely able to speak English when he arrived, Jacob went from dance studio to dance studio, selling shoes. 90 years later, Bloch is an internationally-renowned dance and activewear label.

Read more

Uncovering a family’s last letters

This new donation to our collection will keep our curators and a Yiddish translator busy for at least three years.

Read more

0
Your Cart
Your cart is empty